Lisa Rabalais found guilty for accessory after the fact in the case of Ray Paul Lachney
UPDATE 9/19/19: News Channel 5 has spoken with attorneys who say Lisa Rabalais was released from jail Thursday morning around10:30 a.m. on a $100,000 property bond. Anna Denton is following this story and will have more updates later tonight.
The trial for Lisa Rabalais wrapped up Wednesday afternoon at the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse after a jury found her guilty of accessory after the fact of second-degree murder in connection to the 2015 disappearance and death of Ray Paul Lachney.
Day two of the trial began with a final witness. That witness was Lisa Rabalais, one of the last people to see Lachney before he disappeared.
You’ll remember on Tuesday, the first witnesses took the stand after opening arguments, including some people Rabalais had spoken to about her last interactions with Lachney, or were there on the day he went missing.
Video evidence was also presented to the jury.
But when Rabalais took the stand, she claimed that those witnesses were lying.
She repeatedly denied any involvement with Lachney’s death or disappearance saying quote “I swear to God I don’t know what happened to Ray Lachney.”
Lachney’s family became visibly emotional at Rabalais’ statements.
Then, closing arguments began with the prosecution, represented by Assistant District Attorney Tony Salario and District Attorney Charlie Riddle. Salario told the jury that Rabalais’ testimony was not the full truth based on the statements of other witnesses and reminded them that quote “Ray has a family. Ray has loved ones that miss him.”
Next, defense attorney Chad Guillot spoke to the jury, telling them that they need to pay attention to the facts and that Rabalais never wanted to see anything happen to her friend, Ray Lachney.
Judge Billy Bennett then released the jury for deliberation. After an hour of deliberating, the jury came back with questions for the judge and asked to watch the video evidence presented on Tuesday again.
After watching the video and further deliberation, the jury decided that Rabalais was guilty of the crime.
Sentencing for Rabalais will take place on November 12 with a 5-year maximum sentencing and $100,000 bond.